Trafford Dementia choir performing at Limelight
Trafford Dementia choir performing at Limelight

Another week, another prime minister. Rishi Sunak became the fourth in five years on Monday. He’s a lot slicker than Liz Truss, but his government will be just as disastrous for my constituents. Although he has delayed the expected budget statement from next week to 17 November, I am still very anxious that chancellor Jeremy Hunt will announce a package of cuts. That will create a horrible situation for Trafford Council, who’ve faced a 40% cut in their funding over the past decade, while the NHS, schools and family budgets are all under enormous pressure.

 

I’m also shocked and disgusted that the prime minister has reappointed Suella Braverman to be home secretary. Not just because I am angry about her ignorant comments about international students and her position on the channel crossings, but because she was forced to resign just last week for a serious breach of security. Her reappointment within a matter of days might please a few Conservative party fans, although I can tell you quite a lot of Conservative MPs are as horrified as I am. It’s an appointment that I suspect the prime minister will soon regret.

 

MPs have had several opportunities this week to complain about our train services out of Manchester, and I have been in the chamber to express my views to the minister. Avanti and TransPennine Express have an appalling record of delays and cancellations, and despite all sorts of promises from the companies, things aren’t getting any better for passengers. It’s also doing serious damage to the Greater Manchester economy. It is an utter disgrace that the reward for this failure is that the government have extended Avanti’s contract.

I’ve also been asking ministers questions this week about funding for school sports, and about takeup of Healthy Start vouchers that help pregnant and new mums and their children to access free fruit and veg, milk and vitamins.

As ever, it has been a great pleasure to welcome constituents to parliament this week. I was delighted to host a reception for staff, students and supporters of UA92, and to take some of the students on a little tour round parliament and into the chamber. One of the doorkeepers went out of his way to tell them all about the history of the House of Commons – I learnt as much as they did!

It is also always great to get out and about in the constituency. Last week, I was very pleased to visit Little Green Sock, which is collecting and donating pre-loved children’s clothes to low income families in Trafford. Visit their website www.littlegreensock.org if you know a family that needs help or to find out how to donate.

And what a treat to attend the Black History Month celebrations at Limelight in Old Trafford last Friday. I loved the steel band performance, the dementia choir, the saxophonist and the amazing poet. Thanks for inviting me!

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